Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Whole Cat and Caboodle Starring Elvis... by Sofie Ryan

He had been roaming around town for quite some time until they met. Sarah saw him first; but he knew immediately, even though she wasn't keen on the idea. Sarah had just been adopted. And he began to follow her, knowing, just knowing, that she would soon love him and take care of him and they would make a happy home together... His name, Elvis...


Elvis Preferred Cats...and Sarah...You Know...

The Whole Cat and Caboodle:
First in A Second Chance Mystery Series

By Sofie Ryan

I'd had Elvis for about four months. As far as I could find out, the cat had spent several weeks on his own, scrounging around downtown North Harbor. The town sits on the midcoast of Maine. "Where the past 250 years North Harbor stretches from the Swift Hills in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the south. It was settled by Alexander Swift in the late 1760s. It's full of beautiful, historic buildings, award-winning restaurants and quirky little shops. Where else could you buy a blueberry muffin, a rare book and fishing gear all on the same street?
The town's population is about thirteen thousand, but that more than triples in the summer with tourists and summer residents. It grew by one black cat one evening in late May.

Elvis just appeared at the Black Bear.  Sam, who owns the pub, and his pickup band, the Hairy Bananas--long story on the name--were doing their Elvis Presley medley when Sam noticed a black cat sitting just inside the front door. He swore the cat stayed put through the entire set and left only when they launched into their version of the Stones' Satisfaction.
The cat was back the next morning, in the narrow alley beside the shop, watching Sam as he took a pile of cardboard boxes to the recycling bin. "Hey, Elvis. Want some breakfast?" Sam had asked after tossing the last flattened box in the bin. To his surprise, the cat walked up to his and meowed a long yes. He showed up at the pub about every third day for the next couple of weeks. The cat clearly wasn't wild-he didn't run from people--but no one seemed to know who Elvis (the name had stuck) belonged to. The scar on his nose wasn't new; neither were a couple of others on his black, hidden by his fur. Then someone remembered a guy in a van who had stayed two nights at the campgrounds up on Mount Batten. He'd had a cat with him. It was black. Or black and white. Or possibly gray. But it definitely had a scar on its nose. Or it was missing an ear. Or maybe part of a tail...
Elvis was sitting in the middle of my desk when I opened the door to my office. The cat, not the King of Rock and Roll, although the cat had an air of entitlement about him sometimes, as though he thought he was royalty...
"How did you get in here?" I asked.
His ears twitched but he didn't look at me. His eyes were fixed on the vintage Wonder Woman lunch box in my hand. I was having an early lunch, and Elvis seemed to want one as well...
~~~

If you don't know by now, my personal slogan is "Books--Cats--Life is Sweet." So add one more thing--a mystery--and I'm in Heaven!

It's been awhile since I read one, but I'm gearing up to be reading some non-fiction, so I figured you and me both needed a little fix to keep us going. It was sooooo fun to meet Elvis...I've read the author under a different name, but this new series and its star is extraordinary...

I don't think I've ever read a more "in tune" cat-owner relationship. Ryan writes and talks as if Elvis can understand every word, so that when Elvis responds in sound or action...it's directly in response. Ok, cats can't understand human language. But it sure is fun imagining it! My cats sometimes know key words and make nonverbal communication hoping I'll understand, which a lot of times I do... That's why I just love Elvis... He even appreciates his music! LOL

A little about the mystery... and the characters. Elvis' Mom is the owner of a second-chance store and she meets the victim when he brings a silver tea set in to her shop one day...but then, comes back and buys it right back. Obviously Sarah is curious about him...

Sarah's grandmother is on her honeymoon in this first book, but her three best friends, who love Sarah like their own, sometime help in the shop or meet with her in other ways...One of those friends is presently involved with the man who brought in the silver tea set... And, one day when he is invited to lunch at Maddie's home, she finds him outside, sitting at the table, dead... 

Of course, Maddie is accused of the murder--he was poisoned! And since everybody except the police believe she is innocent, they start their own investigation, soon deciding they are just like Charlie's Angels...except in their 70s...

Sarah tries hard to prevent their getting involved, but fails. She, at least, decides she'll try to keep them out of trouble...but gets pulled in just as much!

An interesting little twist is that Sarah's one time best friend, is now the lead investigator, which makes for limited conversation to say the least... On the other hand, Sarah's "first kiss" participant is in town and Nick is quite pleased that she's back.

The mystery is a good one, not easily solved so will keep you interested. I, for one, enjoyed the cat-human dialogue and the new older investigators' activities as the primary enjoyment of the book... Let's just say there's a lot going on and much to help turn the pages quickly and with enthusiasm.  And, really, with Elvis as the primary focus, you'll have no choice but love it as I did! Highly recommended!

I hope Elvis finds a cute little cat who also loves Elvis! What do you say?!!! Besides, our Elvis is thinking about getting up his own show...




GABixlerReviews




Are you a "cat person"?

Very much so. I love cats. I like their independent spirit. I don't have one because my husband is extremely allergic to them. (If he dies first I'm getting a cat. People laugh when I say that because they think I'm kidding.) Even though I don't have a cat myself, I do have "cat friends"--cats in my neighborhood that I spend time with so I can get my kitty fix.